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Lessons learned ?

Hi All,

I was just reading thru the Echo website, whilst coincidentally listening to
a pass of Ao-7, when a thought occured to me.

In light of the battery problems currently afflicting Ao-40, I wonder if the
Echo design team has learned something from the situation. I notice there
has been some discussion of having a way to operate without battery, or
having a control receiver directly connected to the solar panels in the new
P3E design, but I have not seen any discussion of this possibility for Echo.

Thinking back on my last 25+ years of satellite operations, it seems to me
that most of the satellites I used to operate on have failed due to loss of
their battery systems. Yet, most of these satellites are still going round
and round, and, as demonstrated by Ao-7, can still be very usefull even if
only available in daylight.

 As demonstrated by the folks using ao-7 in particular, we don't require
that our satellites be in perfect condition forever, just that they give us
some level of service on occasion. Think "band openings" rather than "
repeater in the sky", and it becomes obvious that people will use the
resource, because it is there.

I understand there might be some reservations about having our spectrum
"polluted" by satellites that never die, but I also think that with a little
judicious planning of the future satellite's passbands, we will find
ourselves with much longer usefull lifetimes for our precious satellites.

So, what about it, Echo dudes ?  Is a bit of re-design being contemplated,
or are we going to see another satellite with a finite lifetime ?



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